We ranked the 22 Tour de France teams’ bikes.Daniel McMahon/Business Insider
CHARTRES, France — The Tour de France brings out the lightest and fastest bikes, and sometimes the best-looking. We visited the 22 teams to check out each squad’s line.
We didn’t consider weight, price, or tech; instead, if the bike looked thoughtfully put together, had attractive paint, was mated to a stylish wheelset, and had fine touches that made us drool a little, the better it did.
We considered only the regular bikes, so we excluded those with custom paint and one-offs, like the race leader’s yellow BMC. Also, many teams have two or three types of bikes — a climbing bike, an aero bike, and a time-trial bike. We went with the bikes we saw the riders racing most often.
Here are the best-looking bikes at the Tour de France, ranked from meh to ooh!
No. 22 — Team Sky’s Pinarello Dogma
Chris Froome is the most successful three-week stage racer of this era, but his bike feels uninspired. All-black bicycles have peaked — or at least they should have. The Dogma is terrific, but looks-wise, meh.
No. 21 — Dimension Data’s Cervélo R5
Again, another stealthy black bike. Bor-ing. We ranked this one just ahead of Sky’s Dogma only because we liked the bits of green, the type, and that blingy chain. But really, this bike could do with some color.
No. 20 — Katusha-Alpecin’s Canyon Aeroad
At least it’s not all black! But still, kind of plain and uninspired. The Canyon type is cool, and this is a fast bike, but overall there’s not much to thrill the senses.
No. 19 — Direct Energie’s Wilier Triestina
OK, so we’re moving in the right direction with non-all-black bikes. This is a refreshing ride that goes perfectly with these wheels, and the type is gorgeous. (Just don’t confuse this yellow bike with the race leader’s.)
No. 18 — Team Sunweb’s Giant Propel Advanced S
Things are really looking up. Colors! This Giant just has a fast look about it, with the big aero tube shapes and deep-profile wheels. It’s nowhere near our favorite, but it’s a pretty cool ride.
No. 17 — Bahrain’s Merida Reacto
While not a head-turner, the Merida bikes at least have a decent mix of colors. Pretty fast, pretty aero — but the Reacto in this livery just looks like a lot of other bikes.
No. 16 — Cofidis’ Kuota Khan
The Kuota Khan is a good-looking bicycle, with a handsome frame and Campy wheels and groupset. The colors all work well, though it does kind of look like a lot of other bikes. We’re also not big fans of mixed-color bar tape, but it’s a solid bike.
No. 15 — Mitchelton-Scott’s Addict
This is a serious-looking bike — almost formal, ready for business. The yellow offers a pop, and with the superlight climbing wheels it’s got a nice, classic look.
No. 14 — BMC Racing Team’s Teammachine
The Teammachine is race-proven and carried Greg Van Avermaet to Olympic gold, but the standard bike used at the Tour lacks flavor. The all-red look just feels flat.
No. 13 — UAE Team Emirates’ Colnago Concept
Colnago is a classic Italian brand that people still gush over. The UAE team’s bikes are good- and fast-looking race machines. We wish there weren’t so much busy type, but still, we’d love to have one.
No. 12 — Astana’s Argon 18 Gallium
This is a handsome bike that just works for us looks-wise — not too busy, but with just enough detail to make it visually interesting. The tubular carbon wheels and classic sidewalls really complement this Argon well, and to complete the package there’s the fast-looking oversized CeramicSpeed pulley wheel.
No. 11 — Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Cube Litening
At first the Cube bikes seemed a bit obnoxious, but after a few days they kind of grew on us, and we now applaud the team for going all in with bold choices, especially the bright stem and bar tape. It’s hardly our top choice, and it still feels a bit too busy, but it definitely stands out in the bunch.
No. 10 — AG2R La Mondiale’s Factor One
OK, another mostly black bike, but this one sort of gets an exception, mainly because of the added blue bits. It’s just a really good-looking bike. The Mavic wheels look great, too.
No. 9 — Quick-Step Floors’ Specialized Venge
We’re glad Specialized didn’t go with another matte-black bike — and added some color to the new Venge. It’s a gorgeous frame and fork that screams fast. You don’t get much more superbike than this, with the deep-profile wheels and disc brakes.
No. 8 — Team Fortuneo-Samsic’s BH Ultralight EVO
This understated BH won over the romantic in us. There’s something about a no-frills bike that can still hold its place in a peloton crowded with oversized aero tubes, disc brakes, and other bells and whistles.
No. 7 — Lotto-Soudal’s Ridley Noah Fast
Though it’s painted a muted matte gray, this bike ranked high because of its gorgeous frame design — and it has just enough color to lighten things up a bit. With the Campy wheels, it’s just a stunning bike.
No. 6 — Movistar’s Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
The Movistar bikes have a distinguished look we found refreshing. There’s a nice fade between the two shades, and the Campy group and wheels lend it even more cachet.
No. 5 — EF Education First-Drapac’s Cannondale SystemSix
The new SystemSix from Cannondale is debuting at this Tour, and it’s a very fast-looking aero road machine, especially built up with these Vision wheels and disc brakes. The green and pink add a nice pop of color, and the frame design looks super slick.
No. 4 — Groupama-FDJ’s Lapierre Aircode SL
FDJ is a proudly French team, and you don’t see more French-looking bikes at this Tour than this. The very name Lapierre and the tricolor paint job make it stand out in a way we like.
No. 3 — Bora-Hansgrohe’s Specialized Venge
The new Venge from Specialized is a superfast machine, and two teams are on it at this Tour: Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe. While Quick-Step’s bikes are mostly black, Bora went with a three-color paint job. We’re not always blown away by the bikes ridden by the team’s star, Peter Sagan — they can come off as gaudy, depending — but the standard team-issue Bora Venge is quite superb.
No. 2 — LottoNL-Jumbo’s Bianchi Oltre XR4
The classic Italian brand Bianchi is timeless in its elegant good looks, and it keeps pace with modern aero bikes with slippery designs befitting the world’s fastest cyclists. The celeste green is synonymous with Bianchi and its deep heritage. This Tour bike is gorgeous with a handsome color balance. Bellissimo.
No. 1 — Trek-Segafredo’s Madone
The best-looking bike at the Tour is the Trek Madone. We loved the white frameset and red lettering. It’s bold and crisp, and the bike just looks fast standing still. The Bontrager wheels and classic sidewalls complement the bike nicely without being overbearing. We wished the lettering on the down tube weren’t quite so big, but it works. In a sea of all-black, boring, and conservative bikes, the stylish Madone is a sight for sore eyes.